Retail Roundup: Maple Run Area Shopping, Dining and Entertainment

Maple Run is close to everything downtown and South Austin have to offer, but it’s also conveniently located to a variety of both high-end and routine shopping opportunities just around the corner.

About five minutes away, the 70-acre, 365,000-square-foot Arbor Trails, a two-time recipient of the “Best Real Estate” award from the Austin Business Journal, features more than 30 stores and businesses including Pure Bikram Yoga, Costco, Healthy Pet, Staples, The Dental Centre, Lane Chiropractic, among others, as well as 10 restaurants. Locals also flock to the 40,000-square-foot Whole Foods, with its  wide variety of fresh, organic groceries, hosted movie nights, local brewery tastings, live music, and kids’ cooking classes. Culinary lovers can also browse Mandola’s Italian Market for its vast array of imported products.

More Shopping to Choose From

Also about a five-minute drive, Escarpment Village, Austin’s first green retail center features rainwater-harvesting cisterns and solar panels, as well as more than 25 shops and stores, including a “hybrid” HEB, which incorporates many of the gourmet aspects of Central Market. Also popular, Starbucks, Oasis Day Spa, Massage Envy, Eye Tech Optometry, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Allstate Insurance, an animal hospital and Tomlinson’s Pet Supplies, among others.

Escarpment Village also has six restaurants. For a casual meal, locals have a choice of several beloved Austin institutions such as Torchy’s Tacos, Waterloo Ice House or Kerbey Lane Cafe (famous for their pancakes and bacon pesto chicken with parmesan mashed potatoes), followed by ice cream at D’Lites, which boasts 150 gluten free, naturally flavored varieties.

In addition, four major shopping malls, Barton Creek Square Mall, Sunset Valley Market Fair, the Village at Westlake and Southpark Meadows can each be reached within about 15 minutes. Together, these popular retail centers include more than 450 stores and restaurants.

Authentic Cajun Cuisine and Top-Shelf Sushi

For an authentic Cajun culinary experience, Evangeline Café is a popular choice, where the Gold Band Creole (deep-fried jumbo shrimp served over fettuccine pasta with a savory combination of creole sauce and a Cajun aioli) is a must. For comfort food, Mighty Fine Burgers offers some of the best burgers, fries and shakes in Austin.

Nanami Sushi Bar & Grill makes a great destination for a special occasion, date night, or whenever the craving for fresh, top-shelf sushi, sashimi, and Japanese grilled food hits. Aside from a very popular, fresh, and expertly prepared and presented sushi and sashimi selection, frequent diners also praise Nanami’s bento boxes and other dinner items.

The bento boxes come stuffed with a variety of delectable items. Customers first choose a main. Popular choices include salmon teriyaki, chicken teriyaki, beef teriyaki, or tempura vegetables and shrimp. Every box comes with a bowl of highly praised miso soup, a four-piece California roll, house salad, gyoza, and rice and other extras like sashimi or tempura. The interior of the restaurant’s warm, rough stone and polished wood help create a cozy, elegant, and romantic atmosphere.

Dinner, a Movie, and Cocktails

Families looking for dinner and a movie catch the latest blockbuster movie or indie flick while enjoying pizza, sandwiches, burgers and salads made from scratch at the nearby Alamo Drafthouse.

Next to the Alamo is the popular 400 Rabbits Bar. While its dining menu has been pared down to the essentials, the extensive menu of creative and carefully crafted cocktails continues to draw not only those waiting for their showtime at the Alamo Drafthouse, but locals from all over the area.

The food menu now consists of just six favorite snack items from their former food menu. Diners rave about the chile-lime spiced nut mix, queso con carne, ensalada picado (a salad of romaine, avocado, jicama, cherry tomato, queso cotija, spiced pepitas dressed with a jalapeño lime vinaigrette), grilled corn on the cob with mayo, queso cotija, lime, chili; and delightfully light and fresh grilled chicken tacos.

But the cocktails, which emphasize creative uses of tequila and mescal are the big draw. With more than 10 tequila-based signature cocktails alone, there are plenty of tasty and creative drinks to choose from – as well as a list of classic cocktails. Particularly popular is the manzana de fumar. This is a drink that blends reposado mezcal, apple liqueur, and tamarind and arbol chile syrup for a smoky apple flavor that customers rave about.